Domestic and Family Violence is a crime.

It is well documented that domestic and family violence is a significantly under-reported crime and a complex crime for police to provide an effective response to. For many victims of domestic and family violence they do not want to end their relationships with their abusive partners, they just want the violence to stop. Others require assistance from police and human services agencies to assist them in leaving their violent relationships.

Domestic and family violence involves an abuse of power, mainly perpetrated by men in an intimate partner relationship or after separating from the relationship. It extends beyond physical violence and may involve the exploitation of power imbalances and patterns of abuse.

The NSW Police Force is committed to using all lawful means to police domestic and family violence. This includes wherever possible:

  • removing offenders from the victim (victim safety is a priority)
  • taking out an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) on behalf of victims and any children living or spending time with the victim (whether they are by consent or not)
  • investigating breaches of ADVOs
  • developing solutions to managing repeat offenders

Furtherr information about Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs)

Domestic and Family Violence Behaviours

A pattern of behaviours can include:

  • escalating levels of abuse and violence
  • intimidation
  • stalking
  • physical abuse
  • sexual assault
  • verbal abuse and/or threats
  • psychological abuse
  • threats to harm others, and/or causing harm to pets
  • threats to damage property or actually damaging property
  • financial deprivation and social isolation
  • coercive control in order to maintain control over the victim’s behaviour, or to have them suffer emotional or physical torment and live in fear

Who can experience domestic and family violence?

Domestic and family violence does not discriminate. It can occur in all sectors of the community and across all cultural groups. Anybody can be a victim of domestic and family violence. Domestic violence affects the physical, emotional, social and economic wellbeing of all members of the family including children.

While the majority of incidents reported to police involve a male offender and a female victim, it is the experience of police that all genders can be victims and offenders.

Domestic and family violence can happen across all relationship types including:
  • married and de facto couples
  • boyfriends and girlfriends
  • LGBTI couples
  • long term residents in the same residential facility
  • carers
  • relatives
  • for Aboriginal people, extended family or kin
There are many reasons why victims don’t report domestic and family violence including:
  • fear of more violence
  • feelings of shame
  • thinking that they will not be believed
  • fear of being left homeless or with no financial security
  • being isolated from children, family and friends
  • loss of residence visa if on spouse visa

More information about domestic and family violence.

Safer Pathway (NSW Department of Communities and Justice)

For information about domestic violence legislation please visit the page on the Crimes (Domestic & Personal Violence) Act 2007.